Taelor Joseph Marks
When I try to think of a comparison to what my life has been like since my son was murdered, I think of the barbaric ancient Mayan custom of human sacrifice where the victim’s heart is skillfully and savagely ripped from the chest while still beating. I think of the split second that the victim is conscious of the physical hole where his beating heart used to be and that instant is the closest I can come to explaining what the past seven years has been like for me since my beautiful boy, Taelor Joseph Marks, age 17 years, 9 months and 8 days was murdered.
My son has his fair share of teenage angst. He even had “We’re living in a psycho world” tattooed on his forearm. Shortly before his death he told me he wanted to have that tattoo lazered off because he no longer believed its words.
Since he had gotten the tattoo he had come to peace with not having a father present in his life, he had began working at 15 and paid his car insurance, cell phone and gas bills. He had gotten an academic achievement award in high school, which was an impressive milestone for a kid with dyslexia and ADD.
He had met and fallen in love with a beautiful and intelligent girl, with whom he had a stable mature relationship. They had mapped out thoughtful plans for an amazing future together which they had shared with me.
My son had crossed the bridge from unsure teenager to confident young man. He was eager to embrace his adulthood, looking forward to one day becoming the father he had never had. Instead he and his girlfriend were murdered. They fought to the death in attempts to save each other. They died because a stranger was envious of their love.
On March 8, 2001, not only was Taelor and Josie murdered, but my parents, Dick and Jane Larson were also killed. My family home became one of the worst crime scenes in King County’s history. Almost my entire family was wiped out! My parent’s story is told at another table.
The story of my son Taelor’s life is one of love and compassion, hard knocks and well earned victories. It’s not the story they tell in the news. The story they tell is of his death, and it is so far removed from who he was and who we were as a family that is barely seems real, until I reach down and feel the emptiness where my heart used to be.
As I walk this survivor’s journey, Families and Friends continues to be present with me wherever my pain and grief takes me. They are my voice when I am present or not. Families and Friends are like having a guardian angel – one that you can see!!!
In March 2009, it will be (8) years and the judicial aspects of this event are still unresolved, just as the reality of it is unresolved in my heart.
I have attended Families and Friends peer support group in King County. I have marched in their rally during National Crime Victims Rights Week in Olympia. My advocate has attended the dozens of hearings over the years whether I am there or not.
Though it is devastatingly lonely, I do not have to go through it alone. I’ve often asked “where would I be today if not for this wonderful organization.”
Taelor Joseph Marks